Key presentation of our 2017 international guest curator - Shahidul Alam. Shahidul will introduce his ideas and concepts around the Identity exhibition in this year's Festival hub, Silo 6 from 1 June. Featured artists are the late J.D. Okhai Ojeikere (Nigeria), Dina Goldstein (Canada), Pushpamala (India), Kim Hak (Cambodia), Shahria Sharmin (Bangladesh) and Cagdros Erdogan (Turkey).
Shahidul Alam, is director of Chobi Mela, Dhaka, Bangladesh and a photographer, writer, curator and activist. Alam originally obtained a PhD in chemistry at London University before switching to photography. Returning to his hometown Dhaka in 1984, he documented the democratic struggle to remove General Ershad. A former president of the Bangladesh Photographic Society, Alam set up the award winning Drik agency, Bangladesh Photographic Institute, Chobi Mela festival, Majority World agency and Pathshala, the South Asian Media Institute, considered one of the finest schools of photography in the world.
Alam’s work has been shown in MOMA New York, Centre Georges Pompidou Paris, Royal Albert Hall, Tate Modern and Museum of Contemporary Arts, Tehran. He has been a guest curator of Whitechapel Gallery, Winterthur Gallery, National Art Gallery Malaysia, Musee de Quai Branly and Brussels Biennale. His numerous photographic awards include Mother Jones, Howard Chapnick Grant, Open Society Institute Audience Engagement Grant and Shilpakala Award, the highest honour given to Bangladeshi artists.
He is a featured artist in the Venice Biennale in May 2017. A speaker at Harvard, Stanford, UCLA, Oxford and Cambridge universities, museums in all continents, as well as TEDx, POPTech and National Geographic, Alam has been a jury member in prestigious international contests, including World Press Photo, which he chaired and Prix Pictet, chaired by Kofi Anan. Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, Alam is a visiting professor of Sunderland University in UK and advisory board member of National Geographic Society and Eugene Smith Fund.